Dela Rosa: LGUs key to eradicating country’s woes on illegal drugs

Published May 27, 2021, 2:06 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has called on the Senate to expedite the passage of the bill seeking to institutionalize the anti-drug abuse councils in every local government unit (LGU) saying their role is crucial in the fight against illegal drugs.

Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa speaks in the Senate on June, 3, 2020. (Senate of the Philippines PRIB)

In sponsoring Senate Bill No. 2215 or the proposed Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) law, Dela Rosa stressed the vital role of LGUs in the fight against illegal drugs, which “requires the collective effort of every territorial and political subdivision of the country.”

The measure primarily gives LGUs bigger responsibility in crafting policies to fight the illegal drug menace within their respective vicinities.

“Addressing the country’s problem on drugs entails tapping into the wisdom and experience of those on the ground, those who can competently provide political judgment: our LGUs,” Dela Rosa said in his sponsorship speech on Wednesday, March 26.

“At the same time, it demands a systematic and institutional response,” the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief pointed out.

Dela Rosa, who was the chief implementer of the Duterte administration’s “Oplan Tokhang,” pointed out that the government’s pro-active stance against illegal drugs eventually improved the drug situation in the Philippines.

Based on data from the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), the senator said that as of September 2020, only 40 percent of the 42,045 barangays nationwide are yet to be cleared by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and PNP. On the other hand, over 1.4 million drug personalities have voluntarily surrendered to the proper authorities.

“These are Filipinos who share our vision for them—a vision of a better and more productive life,” he said.

He added that through the existing ADACs, LGUs became more capable of properly crafting and implementing effective and efficient drug-related programs and activities suited to the specific drug situation in every barangay, municipality, city and province.

“Most importantly, they contributed significantly in the implementation of the community-based drug rehabilitation programs,” he said.

Dela Rosa stressed that by adequately capacitating LGUs in terms of rehabilitation, treatment, then, becomes more accessible for Persons Who Use Drugs or PWUDs.

“To address the country’s problem on drugs entails tapping into the wisdom and experience of those on the ground, those who can competently provide political judgment: our LGUs,” he said.

“At the same time, it demands a systematic and institutional response…solving our drug problem requires political judgment,” the lawmaker reiterated.

 
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